One big personality characteristic that people use to define themselves is whether a person is an optimist or a pessimist. Below are some career paths that are popularly known to be compatible with pessimists.
Actuaries appraise, manage, and advise their clients on areas of potential financial risk. It is vitally important that their calculations are correct because of the impacts they could have downstream. Pessimists can thrive as actuaries because of their knack for sticking to what the numbers truly are instead of trying to dress them up. Because actuaries typically deal with worst-case scenarios, who better to conceptualize a worst case scenario than a pessimist? Businesses who rely on the work produced by pessimistic actuaries rarely find themselves facing scenarios worse than the ones foretold by their calculations.
Solicitors (also known as barristers in the UK) are attorneys paid to represent their clients in court regarding legal matters. Pessimism can be a vital tool for these career paths for a variety of reasons. Because of the dire circumstances than can accompany legal proceedings, clients typically appreciate being apprised of exactly how bad their situation could be so they can plan accordingly. Pessimistic solicitors and barristers can be reliable communicators of such topics without the temptation to soften up potentially bad news. Also because of the high stakes of such proceedings, legal opponents are frequently stooping to new lows to represent their clients. A solicitor or barrister armed with pessimism is less likely to be caught off guard by such tactics.
Quality control engineers are tasked with ferreting out potential defects of a finished product to prevent various levels of financial, reputational, or legal harm down the line. This is done by creating benchmarks for product quality and testing products to test for statistically significant variations. A pessimist will be more likely to raise an alarm (and less likely to sweep under the rug) if a product is not up to par.